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Dust up in a sanding bee hive
General News · 8th November 2011
John Sprungman
The Cortes Cafe in Manson's Hall will be closed Monday, Nov. 14 and Tuesday, Nov. 15 while new marmoleum flooring is installed in the Pioneer Room as the first phase of a major renovation that will include refinishing and upholstering the wooden chairs and replacing the tables with new bases all the same height and with solid-wood table tops.

There are many people to thank for making these improvements possible, starting with the Cortes Seniors for supporting and Sandra Wood for writing the grant application which resulted in $21,000 from the New Horizons for Seniors program and to Julian Ayers for raising $7,500 from the Tides Foundation for hall renovations. Many thanks are due to all the islanders who have contributed money, materials, tools, and their time and skills to repairing and improving our community centre.

In addition to the Pioneer Room, the grants and donated funds will help refinish the main hall bar/kitchen area, upgrade it to food-safe standards and purchase a new refrigerator. The new sinks, taps, passage sets and motion-sensor light switches in the men’s, women’s and playschool bathrooms were made possible by all the contributions.

A $5,000 grant from the Coastal Community Credit Union financed improved drainage, insulating the heating ducts and floors of the playschool, hall office and post office, and will pay for better ventilation in the cafe kitchen. Rose Wooldridge's work with insulation, vapour barriers and rat-proofing mesh may be "out of sight" but will make a big difference to comfort and savings on hall heating bills.

We are most fortunate to have SCCA director Jim Murphy of Tiber Bay as the hands-on organizer of the renovations. He personally dismantled all old wooden chairs, took the seats and backs to Campbell River where they are getting new foam and coverings, got eight of us together in his shop last Saturday to scrape and sand the chair frames and fed us a fabulous lunch as well. Thanks to Leonard Woywitka, Paul Wolda, Jim Kearney, Rocko Lemke, Genoa Coty and Axel Nagorni for joining the sanding bee. Hours in clouds of dust with the sound of eight orbital sanders going at once gives new meaning to volunteerism.

There will soon be a new door from the Pioneer Room onto the deck built and installed by Jim Kearney. Our appreciation to Ron Wolda for donating the wood for the new table tops and to Mike Bullock for donating sheet metal and reshaping it on a moment’s notice to make drip-edging for the playschool roof. And special thanks to Eddie Mitchell who has taken on some of the nastiest tasks of fixing up an elderly facility and done them promptly and skillfully. He’s our new maintenance man and we’re happy to have him on board.